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  • It’s more than not much. A person making the median income for 20 years would pay roughly $35,000. That’s a discount from what they would have paid, for sure, but not nothing.

    It’s a better plan than the status quo, by a lot, but simply covering for state tuition for the first 4 years of someone’s college career would be better by magnitudes further.

  • He couldn’t trust the American press? While the Guardian got the bulk of the press coverage for the leaks, Snowden went first and foremost to the Washington Post, which is as “American Press” as it gets. Moreover, the journalist he went to at the Guardian was, himself, an American journalist.

  • Shouldn’t it be okay, too, if someone *isn’t* Nelson Mandela? Mandela was a singularly amazing and brave person… not everyone can do that.

    There’s also little chance the US government would ever give Snowden the opportunity to speak out while incarcerated to be a Nelson Mandela, if he wanted to.

    Snowden should only be remembered as an interesting footnote to the real story here: the vast and criminal overreach of the NSA and, by default, the United States Government that runs it.

  • I have 2 thoughts:

    1. What the F is wrong with people?

    2. The things so many people take for granted…

    I’m not a complete stranger to discrimination, being overweight, gay and having a high pitched voice… but even for me, it’s hard to fathom ever going through anything like this, or being able to understand what it would do to someone going through it.

    I’m really glad Forest Whitaker spoke out about this. Hopefully, at least some people will wake up — or get a fresh reminder — and realize the kind of discrimination that still exists and destroys lives in this country.

  • Ryan commented on the blog post Reactions to the Death of Internet Activist Aaron Swartz

    2013-01-13 12:17:14View | Delete

    There’s a petition, rapidly gaining siguatures, on the White House’s site to remove the menace to society District Attorney Carmen Ortiz from office. If it gets 25,000 signatures, the WH is forced to respond.

    Please consider signing. Aaron’s life isn’t the first one Ortiz has tried to ruin, though it’s probably the first she’s ruined so successfully that her victim killed himself. Let’s make sure it’s the last. There is no bigger bully than someone who abuses her powers so thoroughly as a District Attorney as Carmen Ortiz does on a near every day basis.

    Truly, Carmen Ortiz is a waste of carbon atoms. Please sign.


  • Trust, but verify.

  • What this really means is she’s run out of money, right? Because that’s why these vanity candidates really run. It gets them on TV, speakers fees and maybe even a book.

  • That’s a bizarre conclusion. A hypothetical: would you ask progressives in Congress to vote for Boehner as Speaker because more Republicans win in 2012? Absolutely not.

  • Even worse. The blue dogs would sell America to American companies. PASOK and New Democracy have been selling Greece to Germany.

  • If I were Syriza, I’d be pumped about today’s results. They seem to be the only party actually interested in fixing Greece for the Greek people, and were rewarded by seeing their results climb almost 10% in the polls since the last election.

    If they offer strong, capable opposition leadership, they’ll be able to increase their numbers going forward — and whether or not a government is formed now, there will be elections soon enough (no coalition formed now will last beyond a year, IMO).

    The Greeks will soon come to realize that the panic-party that only offers fear is full of it. The battle is not over whether or not Greece should stay in the EU and Eurozone. The battle is over whether or not the terms should be negotiated in a way that makes it as fair as possible for the Greek people.

    Europe only wants the powers that be in Greece to stay in power because those powers that be will play ball with them, doing whatever they ask; Syriza will give as much as it gets, demanding fair terms in return for continuing in the Euro. That’s what governments *should* be doing — fighting for their people.

    I’ve been very, very impressed by Syzira’s actions and efforts in face of this international propaganda effort against them. They’ve lost these two battles in ways that suggest they’re going to win the war.

  • I had the lucky opportunity to attend Netroots Nation in Providence over the weekend, including a panel on all the marriage equality ballot initiatives coming up, complete with leaders from this year’s state campaigns to defend (or in Maine’s case, restore) marriage equality. The campaigns are all in full gear, with lots of emphasis on [...]

  • Mike,

    No one is heaping any additional responsibility on Ravi than what he himself committed. He wasn’t convicted of murder or any kind of homicide charge. In fact, he wasn’t even convicted of the full-scale hate crimes law, just the lesser charge of bias intimidation.

    He attempted to tamper with evidence and intimidated witnesses to give a favorable testimony and never showed any remorse for what he did do, never mind the role it played in what he didn’t.

    No, Dharin Ravi never pushed Clementi off the bridge. But he tortured the kid. In the 48 hours before Clementi’s death, Clementi was fixated on the tweets that Ravi posted, opening them up on his computer over a dozen times — to say nothing of how long he agonized over them each and every time.

    There has to be a punishment for what Ravi did, a real punishment. Community service, probation and 30 days in a jail — not prison — doesn’t come anywhere close to it. This wasn’t a “lock him up and throw away the key” moment, but he certainly should have been in prison for the 5 or so years that seemed likely after the conviction by a jury of his peers.

  • I’m honestly beside myself right now. If vicious crimes can be committed against us and the perpetrators get off with no better than a wrist slap, there can be no equality for GLBT people.

    They could have at least have had the decency to deport this sociopathic thug. Imagine all the thousands of gay spouses in America who face deportation every year, just because they’re gay — and the judge couldn’t even ship a bigot out to seas.

    You know, we just locked up a non-violent grandma with a life sentence because she was tangentially involved in the sale of drugs (she didn’t do it, but she owned a bus where ‘too many people got caught with drugs’), in what way does it make sense to only lock up a Dharin Ravi for 30 days… when he actually committed acts of mental violence that caused someone to kill themselves, and showed no remorse at any point whatsoever?

  • Ryan commented on the blog post A few thoughts from a drained accidental activist

    2012-05-16 23:15:52View | Delete

    I’ve never been part of the LGBT establishment

    No, Pam… you’ve supplanted it! I swear, Pam, you’re a fresh of breath air. My friends and I used to scream at stupid decisions made by groups like the HRC, and their obsession over the cocktail parties over fighting for our rights.

    Not only did it feel like there was nothing we could do about it… but it felt like there was no one to even talk to outside of the HRC ‘we have to be nice to people discriminating against it’ mindset. People like you have helped give a space for us to do that in — and people like you have helped force those groups to be ‘fiercer advocates’ in our civil rights, including the rights of the LB and T in GLBT.

  • Stigma is something we should work to crush and destroy… it either leads people to be persecuted, or makes things into taboos that ought not to be.

    However treatable — or untreatable — psychopathy may be, it’s important to know those at risk of getting it, including kids with CU, and those who have it. That’s important both at a societal level, but also for the kids. Even if we can’t ‘cure’ it, with early treatment, it seems likely we can mitigate the worst of it and create circumstances where people who are predisposed of it are least likely to end up with it in the end.

    But that’s never going to happen if we’re so worried about the ‘stigma’ that we never bother to even think about making a diagnosis.

  • Ryan commented on the blog post Greek Eurozone Exit Mulled Over in Germany

    2012-05-09 14:14:15View | Delete

    There was really only ever one possibility coming out of this (end of the Euro, at least for much of the Euro Zone), the only question was how long it would take. If what we care about is people in the end, then the quicker, the better.

  • Ryan commented on the blog post Olbermann Fired From Current TV

    2012-03-30 19:16:20View | Delete

    Whatever ego issues Olbermann had with his bosses made him have an ‘ego’ problem with all the schmucks who are trying to ruin our country, and I think that’s a very suitable trade-off.

    Ultimately, he went from a cable network that everyone had to a cable network no one had, and still managed to keep 175,000 people watching every night. Not too shabby on Current.

    It was probably just a mistake to go there in the first place, it didn’t give him many more advantages than starting something on his own…. and a whole lot of headaches for someone who has difficulty with bosses and came from a network with money for proper sets and tech.

    All that said, everyone who seems to be writing his obit may want to gain some insight into how society works. This public firing will be forgotten in about T – 3 days, and he’ll go off and do something else for a few years. Hopefully, he’ll do something else in which he’s his own boss. If he does it long enough, he’ll have his comeback.

    Personally, I’d love to see him go web and syndication, and focus on that as a way to keep up his PR… and use that PR to work on good books and maybe a couple documentaries. I bet he could make a freaking awesome documentary on something like Wall St. that would be devastating and actually sell on the Box Office.

  • Ryan commented on the blog post Individual Mandates and Unraveling the Great Society

    2012-03-29 14:09:54View | Delete

    I’ve never been very high on the mandate, at least without a public option, but it’s ridiculous to suggest it’s unconstitutional. There’s really no ‘last laugh’ about this; our courts, left unchecked, are quickly turning our country into a neo-aristocracy, with corporations at the top and people left begging for whatever scraps are left. No thanks.

    The idea that Social Security and Medicare are constitutional, but the mandate isn’t, is just silly. And the notion that as soon as someone steps into the Doctor’s Office, we could then force the mandate on them, but not before, is even more bizarre — and both the opposition even concedes that would be constitutional.

    Quite frankly, I think it’s unlikely that this bill survives without the mandate, at least survives in a way that protects people with ‘pre-existing conditions,’ which in reality was the most important thing about the ACA. It alone makes the bill worth keeping.

    Of course, Democrats in DC should have foreseen this crisis and made a better bill from the start. They simply should have created a medicare for all ‘default’ and allowed other options, similar to the German system. Obama could have pushed that type of bill through if he was willing to be as tough on conservative democrats as he was progressives. But he wasn’t. So I have little sympathy for him in all of this… it was a problem of his own creation.

  • Ryan commented on the blog post Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Docs Finally Released

    2012-03-12 14:57:02View | Delete

    Smoking is a killer, but at least it slowly killed people over many decades. The banks ruined millions of lives overnight and nearly destroyed the entire worldwide economy.

    It’s simply amazing that the DoJ could get the tobacco settlement so right… and this one so wrong. If anything, this settlement should have been much bigger than the one we got with Big Tobacco in the 90s.

    This settlement with the banks wasn’t just not enough, it was insulting. We’d have been better off if we just let the states deal with this alone, but then again the banks, Obama and the states all knew that…

  • Ryan commented on the diary post How Sad We Have to Go to War Again but It Won’t Hurt Too Much by masaccio.

    2012-02-29 18:00:43View | Delete

    Of course, but it would only affect the people of Iran, you see… and how much do you think the military industrial complex, Big Oil or Israel or the US really cares about them? My guess, after how many Iraqis we’ve killed and how many Vietnamese we killed in that war, probably not very much.

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